It takes a special kind of person to nab a space in an up-and-coming area and turn it into a successful vintage store.
The store has technically been open for a month and already has gained a mini-cult following among the local gay and vintage-loving community. That's no surprise given Vincent's innate ability to find and repurpose beautiful pieces from bygone eras.
By 6 p.m., the place was packed with both sexes pawing through clothing, reading books, and trying on shoes. Vincent worked the floor with incredible magnetism and charm that only enticed the ladies and gents further.
The timing was perfect. Public Vintage teamed up with Radio-Active Records' Record Store Day celebration. They brought in food trucks like Boba Station and Ms. Cheezious. Vendors sold vintage jewelry and music accessories behind the building to locals swigging brown-bagged Colt 45s.
Inside, the crowd was gained momentum.
Ricardo "Gaps" Tejada performed a few songs from his new album, Live to Love Another Day, for a crowd of at least 50 people. If you have yet to visit the store, that's more than a packed house.
Vincent was pleased.
"Everybody that I've ever met came out," he said. "I felt really loved, and I felt good about selling what I'm selling. A lot of people said that they have to make a day out of thrifting. It's all good."
Everything in the store was 15 percent off, and on top of that, Vincent took a few higher-end items off the shelf and threw them into a rummage sale pile. The girls who found the pieces really knew what they'd uncovered.
There was another treat at checkout.
Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Limited is Vincent's inspiration for the store.
Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols, makes an appearance on every Public Image receipt. If you collect four receipts and bring them in, you'll receive 20 percent off your next purchase.
Vincent and his main man, Zach Todd, played a Public Image Limited song for me while I sat in the store post-grand opening, and they were correct in choosing Rotten as their icon. "Rise" embodied the very feel and personality of the store.
Vincent is already planning the next big event with Radio-Active Records -- an idea that might please the regulars.
He wants locals to know he supports them. He's currently showcasing shirts created by Brooklyn native turned local Jordan Levy. If you're an indie designer, he's interested in talking to you.
To reach him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Image, 831 N. Federal Highway, Ste. D, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-533-4920, or visit Public Image Vintage on Facebook.
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